The Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway will boost regional development, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili said while addressing the second Silk Road Forum in Tbilisi.
Kvirikashvili reiterated Georgia’s readiness to contribute to the new Silk Road initiative. “As you know, thanks to the close cooperation with the governments Azerbaijan and Turkey, the BTK railway was commissioned last month,” said the prime minister, calling the BTK an alternative route linking Central Asian countries to the European railway network.
He noted that Georgia, which is a bridge between Europe and Asia, is striving to integrate into the global marketplace and achieve diversified economy.
“Our main goal is to expand economic ties in the region and beyond. We believe that Georgia's free trade agreements with Europe and China, Anaklia deep sea port and the BTK railway will contribute to the regional development,” Kvirikashvili added.
He outlined that the purpose of the Silk Road forum is to unite Georgia’s capabilities with those of regional partners to achieve greater economic and sustainable development.
"I believe that this forum will open up new opportunities for strengthening and deepening regional ties which will enhance economic growth and ensure security. The forum is aimed at transformation from words to action and making goals a reality,” the Georgian prime minister said.
“It is the second time that Georgia is hosting the Silk Road Forum bringing together delegations from 37 countries and dozens of international organizations. The vivid interest in the forum testifies that this initiative is becoming strategically important not only to its participant states but everyone pursuing greater results in trade, infrastructural development, enhanced access to digital technology, and deeper people-to-people contacts,” he underscored.
About 2,000 delegates are participating in the Silk Road forum. Azerbaijan is represented by Minister of Transport, Communications and High Technologies Ramin Guluzade and Chairman of the Azerbaijan Railways CJSC Javid Gurbanov.